Katherine's Roasted Tomato Sauce

We’ve published a few variations on tomato sauce in the past, but this is hands down the best way to make this iconic sauce.  The secret is in roasting with the lid off, which allows the top layer to brown.

About 10# tomatoes, any type (heirloom, roma, beefsteak)
1-2 bunches basil, leaves only and left whole
1 head garlic
½ bunch thyme
½ bunch oregano
1-2 hot chilis or 1-2 tablespoon hot red chili flakes, depending on your heat tolerance
2 glugs extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste

  1. Roughly chop tomatoes, skins on (this is where a lot of their nutrition resides!), cores removed, and add to your largest sauce pot, at least 2 gallon capacity.

  2. Toss in basil leaves.  Peel and chop garlic into slices or rough pieces.  We like large, visible garlic chunks, but if you want to mellow out the garlic flavor, chop it more finely.  Add to pot.  Strip thyme and oregano leaves from stems and add to pot whole.  Finely chop chili and add to pot, or sprinkle in chili flakes.

  3. Pour olive oil over all ingredients, then sprinkle on salt and stir with a large wooden spoon.

  4. Place in a cold oven turned to 400F.  Roast uncovered for up to 4 hours, stirring periodically.  Stir after the first hour when it starts boiling, then don’t stir again until the top layer has browned a little bit.  Stir this in, brown the new top layer, and repeat until you’ve reached your desired consistency and moisture.  The more juicy your tomatoes, the longer you will roast for a thicker sauce.

Moose Meadow Farm Pesto

About 8oz fresh basil, leaves and stems

About ¼ cup fruity olive oil

A handful of almonds

Juice from one lemon

Salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients together in a food processor and whir until a light green paste forms.  Taste, adjust the seasoning, then use or store in a container with a tight fitting lid in the fridge for a week or so.




This recipe comes from Mark Bittman.  It is good enough to be served as a side dish, or it is delightful as a sauce for pasta or potatoes.  It couldn’t be any easier!  Serves 4.

1 yellow or purple onion, halved and sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
4-6 colored sweet peppers, halved, seeded, and sliced
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes with seeds and juices
2 sprigs fresh basil, leaves only
Salt to taste

  1. Saute onion in olive oil in a wide, deep skillet until soft.  Add peppers and cook until wilted.  Add tomatoes and basil leaves.
  2. Bring to a boil, then simmer until thick, about 15 minutes. 
  3. Remove from heat and serve.

Easy Roasted Tomato Sauce with Garlic and Basil

This recipe is adapted from

Makes about 2 cups (double or triple the recipe and freeze some!)

Olive oil

2 pounds fresh tomatoes

8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

6 sprigs fresh basil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.     Heat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with olive oil.

2.     Chop the tomatoes roughly but evenly.  Spread them in the baking dish.  Stir in the garlic, drizzle on olive oil to taste, and about 1 teaspoon salt and pepper.  Cut the butter into small cubes and scatter evenly over the tomatoes.

3.     Bake the tomatoes for up to 3 hours.  You can bake them until the tomatoes begin to break down and release juices, or you can continue to bake them until their edges blacken and the juices are reduced significantly.  ALTERNATIVELY: grill or broil the tomatoes until they are black in places and have released some juices. 

4.     Use immediately, or cool and store for up to a week in the fridge.

Grilled or Broiled Mini Broccoli with Chimichurri

2 bundles mini broccoli

Olive Oil



1 ½ cups fresh parsley leaves

½ cup fresh cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves

3 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon hot red chile flakes

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 tablespoon neutral oil, like canola or sunflower

3 tablespoons olive oil


1.     Heat the grill or broiler.  Brush each mini broccoli shoot with olive oil and place on grill or baking tray.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Grill or broil until tender and black in places.

2.     Make the chimichurri sauce (can be made ahead): in a food processor, combine herbs, garlic, chile flakes, vinegar, neutral oil, and a few pinches of salt.  Process until combined, then stir in olive oil by hand.  Taste, adjust the seasoning and use as soon as you can (within a day is best).

3.     Lay grilled/broiled broccoli on a serving platter and ladle cold chimichurri sauce on top.  Serve immediately.

Basil Gimlet

This recipe comes from Katherine's brother Joel, a master mixologist.

1 cup sugar

1 large bunch basil, coarsely chopped, plus extra for garnish


12 tablespoons gin

8 tablespoons fresh lime juice


1.     Make a basil simple syrup:  simmer sugar with ¾ cup water and the basil.  Simmer until the sugar dissolves, then let steep for 20 minutes or more.  Strain to remove basil.

2.     Fill 4 cocktail glasses with ice.  In each glass, pour 3 tablespoons gin, 2 tablespoons lime juice, and 4 tablespoons basil simple syrup.

3.     Garnish each glass with a fresh basil sprig and serve immediately.

Tip: add lemon juice and chilled water to simple syrup for a basil lemonade that the kids will love!